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Concept Map

Using a "concept map" can help you narrow your topic, while also helping develop a research strategy - this just means coming up with multiple ways you can go about your search, rather than be frustrated by limited results. 


Below is an image of a concept map with prompts to help you explore different keywords for the various aspects of your topic. It is followed by an example concept map that shows how one might brainstorm keywords for each section.


example of concept map



Create Your Own Map

Use this link to open your own concept map. After you fill it out, you can save it by printing it to a PDF.

Sample Scenario


In the text below, identify some key words that you think would be important in a search for services for this student.

  • What words represent the issues she is having?
  • Which are the most important concepts to include?


Scenario 10

Isabel is trying to figure out how she is going to manage her first semester of college while also

taking care of her six-month-old baby. She knows that there is some kind of childcare center at

Sac State, but she somehow hasn’t been able to bring herself to get information about how to

enroll her baby or how much childcare costs. She knows she can look it up online, but lately it’s

been all Isabel can do just to get up and take care of the baby. But classes start in less than two

months, so she needs to find care for the baby so that she can go to class and have time to


She’s been so tired since the baby was born, and it has been impossible for her to focus on

anything for more than a few minutes at a time. She worries a lot right now about whether she is

even capable of being a mother, let alone a college student and mother. On the really hard

days, Isabel feels hopeless and wonders if her baby would be better off without her. Isabel’s

doctor gave her information about postpartum depression when she was pregnant, but she’s

afraid to tell anyone that she thinks she is depressed. She doesn’t want anyone to think she

doesn’t love her baby, because she does, so much, but she’s also feeling like she can’t handle

life anymore.

Last Updated: Jul 27, 2023 12:19 PM